Posted at 2:07 am , on January 8, 2019
Winter and spring are perfect for meals that require oven time. Living on a boat, we opt for barbecuing most of our summer and fall main courses so we don’t heat up our living space. But when the cold winds are a’blowin’ the oven helps to keep us cozy and fills our home with a delicious aroma as we tuck in against the elements.
Being from an English family from Northern Ireland, I grew up with a lot of potatoes in our meals … baked, boiled and mashed with gobs of butter. Before Daddy opened Benson Electric he was the head electrician (shout out to IBEW 595) for East Bay Packing in Oakland, which was a major meat packing company for the East Bay. So we also had a lot of beef (we’re talking five out of seven nights a week!) for dinner.
My mother made this recipe using ground beef, but Nana was a purist and used ground lamb. Both used a bag of frozen veggies which other than for this recipe, I never use as we don’t have a freezer on our boat and I prefer buying fresh produce a few times a week. But I do like the uniformity of the pieces and it sure makes it easier than having to cut and prepare each of the different veggies.
Posted at 4:27 am , on January 1, 2019
Pickled peppers add zing to sandwiches and are used in many Asian and Mexican dishes. This recipe combines just the right amount of sweet and heat and are tasty eaten right out of the jar as a snack or with cheese and crackers. I’m a fan of savory martinis and think I’ll add a slice to my next dirty martini with my usual olives.
No boiling of jars is necessary and they will keep in the refrigerator for up to a year. The 1 lb bag of Serrano peppers was only $1.29 at the Alameda Grocery Outlet and with the other ingredients the total cost was about $5. I made four 8-ounce jars ($1.50 each at Michael’s) from this recipe, which I gifted to friends for the holidays. You don’t have to tell anyone what a great bargain they are!
Variations: I used Serrano peppers but Jalapeno’s can be used to take the heat factor down a notch. You can also experiment with different types of white vinegar for different flavor profiles.
Posted at 10:11 am , on December 25, 2018
Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone how easy this silky smooth bite of chocolate heaven is to make! I made a double batch to bring to a holiday party, give as gifts and have some at home. It has only five ingredients and they are always in stock at our Alameda Grocery Outlet in the baking aisle.
I’m married to a milk chocolate purist, so kept it traditional with tried and true Ghiradelli semi-sweet milk chocolate. (Yep, you’ll find Ghiradelli brand at about half price off big supermarket prices at our Grocery Outlet!) You can use dark or white chocolate instead, or combine flavors. I do suggest that you use the same brand if combining; different brands can vary in melting points and getting it perfectly melted is key. Don’t worry about the condensed milk and bag of chocolate chips being slightly more or less than the ingredients call for. Brands aren’t always consistent in packaging.
Posted at 3:26 am , on December 18, 2018
Winter is definitely upon us in San Francisco Bay, which means time to break out the Dutch oven and whip up pots of comfort food. I’m a fan of soups that need to simmer for hours to bring out the flavors, but sometimes I want a quick recipe that just tastes like I was in the galley all day.
This one can be made in about 30 minutes and then served right away, or allowed to sit and heat up later or even the next day. It is hearty enough to serve on it’s own with a crusty loaf of french bread, or as a side with a salad and/or an entree. I made it on a rainy Sunday when I was babysitting my granddaughter and watching football games and served it for dinner alongside steamed artichokes. Continue reading
Posted at 5:18 am , on December 11, 2018
Nothing says “Hanukkah” more than latkes! But they are actually a delicious addition to any meal, year round. (And you don’t have to be Jewish to enjoy them.) This Bubbe is fairly new to the latke game and I’m not adept at the use of electric appliances, so these are handmade with lots of love (and oil). They are a bit on the time intense side … turn on some music, pour a glass of wine or eggnog and put on an apron.
The five basic ingredients are simple and available year-round at our Grocery Outlet and the cost is about 50 cents per serving. I find the best way to mix and form the patties is with my hands; a bit messy but the results speak for themselves.
Posted at 4:59 pm , on December 6, 2018
I’ve been crazy busy with the holidays and babysitting my grandchildren and missed my weekly GO To Tuesday post … so we’ll do a GO To Thursday instead! Our local Alameda Grocery Outlet is a great one-stop go-to for holiday menu ingredients. I’m creating a Hanukkah menu of brisket, latkes and roasted asparagus this weekend that I’ll feature next week.
Posted at 4:44 am , on November 27, 2018
Both sweet and savory … these delicious noodles take minutes to prepare and make a great side to an Asian-inspired meal or, as we did, serve with fresh Dungeness crab and garlic bread. (One can never have enough garlic in my opinion!) Grocery Outlet doesn’t sell fresh crab, but they do feature an amazing ocean caught salmon that would be terrific with a miso-soy glaze. Hubby says he could easily eat just a big bowl of the noodles all by themselves … they are THAT good!
Posted at 10:20 am , on November 20, 2018
Turkey is the hands-down favorite for Thanksgiving but when you are cooking for just a few (or have a tiny oven as I do), Cornish Game Hens are a great alternative and also make a festive meal during the winter holidays. Who doesn’t like having their own drumstick? Grocery Outlet has a wonderful frozen food section and these little birds are inexpensive and thaw in a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. You’ll also find a good selection of fresh produce in bulk, packaged and organic varieties to chose from.
Posted at 2:22 am , on November 6, 2018
Let’s talk about the meat selection at Grocery Outlet Alameda. You know that most of the products are acquired by buying excess inventory at deep discounts, moving it quickly into the stores and passing on the savings to the shopper. But in order to ensure that stores have an ample supply of essentials … meat, milk and eggs … they are ordered from from the source just like the larger chain grocery stores. This means that the discounts may not be as deep as their other products, but they are still comparable and, most often, less expensive than the competitors. This also means that you can rely on getting the same quality meat every time you shop. (Click HERE to read the company statement on how they keep the prices low.) You’ll find weekly specials on fresh meat and fish in a refrigerated display near the entrance.
Posted at 1:11 am , on October 30, 2018
The combination of ingredients in this lasagna make it every bit as delicious as a traditional recipe using beef and ricotta, but with half the calories. The total cost of these ingredients at the Alameda Grocery Outlet was a whopping $12. It can be assembled in the morning and refrigerated; then the chill taken off while the stove heats. There’s no need to boil the noodles, saving time and a pot.